I am unbelievably excited to announce the launch of a project that I have been working on for the last few months: The Preflop Blueprint. I believe that this is the biggest development in poker solving for the last few years, since GTO software came onto the market.
Until very recently, we have been limited in our exploration of optimal solutions outside that of heads-up pots. A few years ago, a revolution in poker took place when game theory optimal solutions became a thing, and over time gained the attention of the poker masses. Now, no matter what your game speciality is, you base your understanding of correct strategem on equilibria solutions, whether this means learning good push-fold ranges, or indeed more complicated mixed strategies for deeper stacks.
What was completely missing was the multi-player dimension of the game, and this in particular is a glaring problem for the preflop area of the game, where, unless you are playing HU games, you are always playing a multiplayer game between three or more players. Therefore, every single preflop 'solution' you arrived at, or purchased, was wrong. In some cases, those solutions are terribly wrong, in all cases, they are very incomplete. To illuminate the dearth of information, try to answer the following questions:
1) What is the optimal opening range for all players at the table?
Perhaps you intuitively perceive this to be an easy question to answer, and you figure you know your opening ranges pretty well? Well, unfortunately you are wrong, because other than in pure heads-up starting formations, there have been no publicly-available solutions for this, and it cannot be solved using the GTO software that you are familiar with. Moreover, even the heads-up part of those solutions is wrong, when they have been modelled for any game with three of more players at the table - because they lack bunching (card removal) in their solutions, and in fact this makes a significant difference to the optimal strategies for late position openers, including SBvsBB.
2) What is the optimal BB calling range vs IP?
Again, you may be familiar with this because it has also been sold in preflop solution packs. And yes, I am going to have to disappoint you and tell you that those solutions are wrong. Because IP's opening range was purely a guesstimation in those solutions, the defending range was versus an opening range that is not in reality the optimal villain opening range.
I deliberately started with those two questions, because they may be the most controversial/surprising, since many players would believe that they/we have the answers to those with our previous 'GTO' explorations of the last few years. Now, I will pose a few more questions to illustrate the sheer dearth of information currently known:
3) What should the BB calling range be when EP opens and the BTN flat calls?
4) What should the BB squeezing range be in the above formation?
5) What should the BTN flat calling range be in the above formation?
6) What should the BTN 3-betting range be in the above formation?
7) In the above formation, when the action comes to the SB, what is the optimal approach? Should the SB play a mixed strategy of both flat calls and 3-bets, or not? What sizing(s) should the SB use for their 3-betting range?
8) When EP opens, and the BTN 3-bets, what is the optimal cold 4-betting range for either of the blinds? With what range should the BB cold 5-bet shove when the SB cold 4-bets?
Tough, right? A couple of more generalised questions to finish off with:
9) Should the IP 3-betting ranges be more polarized or linear, or in fact a mish-mash of both?
10) Ask that same question for OOP 3-bettors?
When reflecting on these questions and others, I can only believe that we have accepted the convention because we had nothing else to go off — we just took what we were given. I've reflected on this in similar ways when the more primitive ICM calculators hit the market, and it was clear that they had significant limitations. Still, they were the convention, and they were abided by in determining good ranges. I was able to leverage dramatic edges when I got ahead of the curve and engaged in a deeper exploration of good 'ICM' poker. Today, I see incredible opportunity to improve the strength of my game through learning from these more comprehensive and accurate solutions covering the entire preflop game tree. I will then take these ranges forward to examine correct postflop play.
Today I am delighted to be launching The Preflop Blueprint: 6-Max NLHE Cash. This is the entire preflop solution for 100BB 6-max games, modelled with 5% $3 cap rake structure, equivalent to Zoom $500 on PokerStars. it contains RFI/3bet/4bet/5bet, cold 4-bets, squeezes, and flat calling ranges for BTN and BB, with intelligent pruning in a few key parts of the tree where the solver agrees with this. For example, in determining a strong SB defending strategy in single raised pots, reducing the complexity of the defence, whilst maintaining almost the same EV. You can read more here: Preflop Poker Solutions
The solution required countless hours of supercomputer usage, and we benchmark tested simplified HU solutions with PioSolver to ensure the validity of our findings. We found amazing convergence between those test solutions. You can buy this solution for £999, which is significantly cheaper than I believe the cost to be of making the solution, even with perfect knowledge of modelling it. In fact, through our screening and testings, we have spent way, way more than that to arrive at a solution we are completely happy with and proud to release to the public. To read the entire description and to purchase the solution visit: Preflop Poker Solutions.
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts, and I'll be making some videos soon to supplement what I have shared here.
-Ivan (ILS007), 27th October 2017